• Published 29th Dec 2016
  • 1,015 Views, 19 Comments

Star Swirl the Bearded and the Sirens of Capri - Pineta

The epic story of how Star Swirl the Bearded defeated the Sirens and banished them to a remote Mediterranean island.

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In an isolated cove on a small island, the waves of the Mediterranean Sea gently lapped onto the sand, as they had for millions of years. All was calm. The morning sun shone brightly casting shadows behind the rocks and causing the sea to sparkle. On the horizon was the outline of another coastline. Behind a promontory was a graceful bay, with a volcano in the background. Right on the coast, plumes of smoke signalled an inhabited settlement. It was the picture-perfect image of the Bay of Naples, which in a few thousand years, would inspire countless Romantic artists and would grace the walls of pizzerias across this world. But at this point in time, no one was around to admire it.

Suddenly a rift was torn open in the sky and three creatures appeared in the air and immediately fell towards the ground.


Thud. Thud. Thud. The three bodies hit the soft sandy beach. For a while they lay face down in the sand in varying states of discomfort.

“Grrrhhh … Hmmph … Urgh …”

“Hmm … Yrhhh! ... Urghhh …”

Eventually two bodies, one pink, one pale yellow climbed out of their sandy holes. They went to retrieve their companion.

“Arrrrrr—Ouch! What you do that for Aria? Eek!” Sonata screamed as her companion pulled her head out the sand by her hair. The bright sunlight blinded her, and suddenly finding herself in control of a different set of limbs than usual, she fell back onto the sandy ground.

“W-what’s going on?”

“Weren’t you paying attention?” said Aria. “That wizard has sent us into another world. And turned us into different creatures.”

Sonata looked at her outstretched arms and legs, counted her new fingers and toes, and let out another scream.

“Waah! w-what did he do?” She waved her hands in front of her face then thrust them behind her, clasping her buttocks with a terrified look. “My tail! My beautiful tail! What has he done with it?”

“You’re a different species now,” said Adagio. “Get used to it. We have far bigger problems to deal with than your tail.”

“But how could he turn us into something without a tail? That’s improper—it leaves your behind horribly exposed. Even ponies have tails. And what are these things?” She looked down at her breasts, prodding her smooth turquoise flesh with a finger and shuddering at the sight of how it wobbled.

“You’re a mammal. Those are your mammary glands to let you feed your baby.”

“Yuck!” said Aria, looking at her own chest. “But why are they so big? He’s turned us each into a cross between a tail-less chimpanzee and a lactating cow. The pervert. Do you think he’s looking at us through some magic mirror and laughing?”

“Shut up,” said Adagio. “The real problem is that we are in a different world, and one where he said there was no magic.”

“No world is completely without magic,” mused Aria. “And we still have these.” She ran a finger across the pendant hanging around her neck.

Adagio clasped her fingers around her own pendant. “Let’s see…”

She climbed to her feet and, with some hesitation and lots of waving arms around to keep her balance, walked across the sand. Sonata and Aria followed.

“Urgh! These things bounce as you walk.”

“Shut it Sonata!”

On reaching a grey rock, Adagio set her eyes on a red crab, scuttling across the barnacle-covered surface. Opening her mouth, she sang out a clear melodious note. This initially had no effect, so she increased the pitch and modulated the tone until it excited ripples on a tiny pool of water on the rock. The crab then scuttled towards her, under the spell. Once within reach, she grabbed and smashed it down onto the surface, breaking open its shell.

She smiled and picked the crab meat out of the broken shell with her fingers. “There is some magic here. It must have come through the rift with us. But it will fade. It could be gone completely in a few days. Maybe just a few hours. We need to act quickly.”

“What can we do Adagio?” asked Aria. “Sit around and hope that some gullible wizard walks by?”

Adagio sang out another note, casting a spell which caused the water of the pool to cloud over. She moved her head closer to the surface to watch the image in the water. The enchantment conjured up visions of the cities of Athens and Syracuse, the port of Parthenope. Images of ships, armed soldiers, battles, and classical temples flickered across the pool. She folded her arms and broadened her smile.

“This world has wealth and power. And these creatures will be easy to corrupt. We need to get to a town or city. Then find some creatures weak enough to fall under our spell. If we can shatter their free will and bind them to us, then they’ll stay at our command even when the magic fades.”

“That never worked in Equestria,” said Aria. “Whenever we moved in towns, they would band together and chase us away with pitch-forks just as soon as they learned how to plug their ears with parsley!”

“This world is different. Ponies were strong—it took a lot to break their friendships. But, if this world is without magic, it will be easier here. They won’t have any resistance to enchantment.” She narrowed her eyes, and smiled as she ran through the plan in her head.

“But how do we get to a city from this desolate shore?”

“There’s one over there!” Standing on top of the rock, Sonata pointed out across the sea.

“That will do,” said Adagio.

“But how can we get there?” said Aria.

“Swim?” said Sonata.

“Think Sonata! How can you swim without a tail? And that must be miles away.”

“We’re in luck.” Adagio smiled and pointed the other way. On the other side of the promontory, a sail was visible on the horizon. A ship was moving towards them. “Here comes our transport. We just need to sing them a little song.”

The three Sirens climbed up onto the rock to get the best view.

“Will they understand what we sing?” said Sonata. “Who knows what language they use in this world? It might be all Greek to them.”

“You know how the magic works!” said Adagio. “Just sing with passion, thinking about what you desire, and the spell will ensure that they hear words that make sense to them, and they will have no choice but to obey our commands.”

The three joined hands and assumed a pose, clearly visible to the surrounding sea.

“Remember girls,” said Adagio, with a hint of a threat in her voice. “We’ve got to get this right. It could be our one chance at seizing power. If we mess this up, we could be stuck in this dump for the next few thousand years.”

The captain of the Ionian trireme stood on the prow of his vessel surveying the Amalfi coast, letting the wind blow his long blue hair behind him. They were nearing the end of a long voyage from their home port in Rhodes, and just had to sail around the peninsula and into the bay, and land at the colonial port of Parthenope. But he could not relax yet, as he had to navigate his ship through the treacherous passage between the mainland and the isle of Capri, where many a ship had foundered on the dangerous rocks. But the Mediterranean was calm, and in bright sunlight there was no reason to fear. The light wind gently shook the sails, but it was the three banks of oarsmen who propelled the vessel forwards. He was about to signal to tell the rowers to ease off, when he caught sight of what appeared to be three beautiful female figures standing of a rocky promontory at the edge of the island.

Then the music started. At first just a faint voice carried across the sea, but soon growing loud and clear.

Listen to the sound of our voice
Soon you'll find you don't have a choice
Pull your oars and make haste this way
You’re going to let us cross the bay

The captain signalled to the helmsman to maintain a straight course. He obeyed without question. The boatswain walked to the front of the ship and stared ahead, mesmerized by the pale blue, yellow and pink naked female figures on the rocks. “Nymphs…” he mumbled.

You will come around
To listen to our sound
From Neapolis to Syracuse
Our tune shall be the only muse
When our full power is unfurled
You will see us rule this world
With Athens overthrown
We’ll make this place our own

All the sailors were now caught in the spell. The deck crew all stood enchanted, staring at the rocks. The ranks of rowers, who sensed the urgency and pulled their oars harder than ever sending the ship speeding towards the island in a straight line, in a manner as if to ram an enemy ship.

The magic we deploy, is able to destroy
Every town from here to Sparta and to Troy
Olympus shall fall; Zeus shall be my thrall
Your world’s riches—we shall take them all!

The Sirens hung onto the final note as the ship approached the shore. Then, with an almighty crash, the prow struck the reef before the island. A huge hole was torn into the hull and water flooded into the vessel. In less than a minute the ship disappeared below the surface into the deep water as the hypnotized sailors made no effort to escape.

Adagio, Aria, and Sonata looked down at the waves crashing against the rock, carrying a few loose bits of wood—all that remained of the vessel.

“What do we do now?” asked Sonata.

Comments ( 14 )

It's spelled Olympus.

Good story. Love the punchline.

I remember this one fondly. Still quite entertaining. Thanks for bringing it to Fimfiction.

Thanks. Fixed.

7827393 Technically, it's Όλυμπος. Just don't get me started on their number system from that era.

Good story!

From their appearance in mythology, I'm guessing Star Swirl was wrong, and their magic didn't decay quite so quickly?

So, when are they going to realize that they need to wear clothes? :applejackunsure:

“Will they understand what we sing?” said Sonata. “Who knows what language they use in this world? It might be all Greek to them.”


This was fun.

I can't think of anything else to say, and that makes me very angry at myself.

is that physics jargon? i hope it is since the comment you responded to was one big math pun. (vectors, tensor fields)


You got rid of sirens being pony -eating monsters, but describe them being turned into mammals and described the death of the sailors. Oh well, it is all greek to me.

It might be all Greek to them.

I get the joke, but isn't Capri an Italian island? Or was it a Greek island in ancient times?

Eeyup. From wikipedia:

The earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope (Παρθενόπη, meaning "Pure Eyes", a Siren in Greek mythology) on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on some small islands called Sirenum scopuli. In some later, rationalized traditions, the literal geography of the "flowery" island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa,[1] is fixed: sometimes on Cape Pelorum and at others in the islands known as the Sirenuse, near Paestum, or in Capreae.[2] All such locations were surrounded by cliffs and rocks.

Does the island have a significant Hellenophone population today (or at least 1,000 years ago) (which could explain many things about the story)?

I don't think so. These days it has a reputation as a playground of the rich, where the Neapolitan crime bosses rub shoulders with the Italian glitterati... Now I think about it, maybe there is another story about Adagio, Aria and Sonata there?

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